High winds and rapid loading were witnessed yesterday as this pulse of moisture swept through the BWRA. Gusting to 45 mph, blowing snow made visibility poor, creating drifts and localized wind slabs on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects. Traveling above or near treeline on slopes steeper than 35 degrees could be prime places to trigger a stiff slab. Conversely snow will be scoured on windward S-SW-W aspects.
Accumulations of wind-driven snow on leeward NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects will create large & irregular overhanging cornices. Cornices suspended over dramatic terrain changes can be hard to estimate where & when failure may occur. If riding in the area of a suspiciously loaded slope on these aspects, error on the cautious side. Without the slopes support cornices can fail & propagate far behind where you may percieve.
Snowpack investigations portrayed 2cm of light new snow on top of a more saturated 20cm from Tuesday's storm activity. Tests included: 2 CT's, ECT, & PST; results were not indicating poor stability. The layer of concern could be the stout melt-freeze crust at 36cm, resulting from last weeks high pressure dominance. This crust was 5cm thick & showed good bonding to the snow bordering it.
Intermittent moisture resides over the BWRA into Monday with patchy snow showers. Colder temperatures & snow accumulations totalling 5-7" above 7000' will dominate the region. 4-6" fell Friday night & was wind scattered across the higher elevations with temps in the high teens. Expect partly cloudy skies & a rise in temperature through the weekend with drying conditions.
This snowpack summary applies only to backcountry areas in the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area. Click here for a map of the area. This snowpack summary describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This snowpack summary expires in 48 hours unless otherwise noted. The information in this snowpack summary is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.
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